Re: BSA statement
(no name) ((no email))
Mon, 26 Oct 1992 19:36:06 CST
Hi Don, Kathie....maybe I can shed some light on Don's "unanswered" questions.
" part of the Board of Review, particularily for Scouts that do not profess
a particular faith. I had this problem with two Scouts.
One Scout was prohibited from attending ANY church in the closed military
community we lived in, by his father (his mother was a German citizen and
Catholic). The other Scout had a "belief in God" but no one faith (he was
not a Baptist, a Christian Scientist, or Catholic...to this day, I don't know
(or care) *what* faith he was.
When both Scouts came up for their Star rank, the same questions were asked of
them: "How do you live up to the 12th point of the Scout Law??" (the point
was NOT explained, nor was the standard "this is the one about your religious
duties" given by any member of the Board. The intent of this question was
twofold: to have the Scout explain in his OWN WORDS with NO COACHING OR
PROMPTING, his statement on religion in his life and how he lives up to that
point in the Scout Law; and two, to allow for us as adults (remember, this
was our FIRST encounter with both young men in this forum (glad that policy
changed and we get to see them much more earlier!!!) to see his confidence
and ability to communicate his viewpoints to others that won't neccessarily
share his viewpoint.)
"Explain "Duty to God and my Country" to us. We say this all of the time,
but do you really understand what it is about?? Explain that to us, please?"
(Asked of our Life candidates. The one candidate that answered this question
centered his response on the fact that our country started out as people
looking for someplace to practice what they preach. They came here to get
away from the complaints from the British.)
The two questions that I ask Eagle and Exploring Acheivement candidates
in the review are the following:
"Tell me about your application of the Scout Law (Explorer Code) in your
religious life. Does it make a difference that you are a Scout (Explorer)
"Tell us about the service you have done for your religious group or church.
Do they know you are a Scout (Explorer)?? What things have you done to
express your faith while an Scout (Explorer)?? What things you *wished* you
would have done or be able to do while a Scout (Explorer)??""
(and to those many that tell us the failures....)
"What prevented you from doing those things??"
These two questions *in my opinion only* gives a Board of Review the answers
we wish to know about the candidate's adhearance to the Scout Law and the
Explorer Code. We want to know if he or she THINKS about the Scout Law/
Explorer Code in their daily lives and especially when undergoing religious
ceremonies or rites (services, devotions, prayer). We want to know what things
he or she has done for the religious group or church he belongs to, recognizing
that service to "god" goes far beyond attendance at meetings or services. As
a Scout or Explorer, we expect them to give service to their religious tenant
because it is another indicator of personal pride he/she has in the program and
we see that the Scout Oath/Law or Explorer Code is really being applied here.
Or just mouthed.
Oh yeah...the one about the "things that you wished you were able to do and
why not??"..Lots of really interesting responses come from this, that further
tells us of the character of the Scout/Explorer. Things like "I wanted to be
Chaplain, but I don't think that I could be that...."; "I wanted to hold a
prayer before we ate dinner at the camporee, but we were all hungry, so we
skipped it and went right to the food. I said it to myself, though...."; and
my personal favorite, "there are so many things that I wanted to do to show
my fellow Scouts that God loves them and so did I, that I just did my job the
best in the world. I think that God knows. I told Him so every night after our
*That* , Don, is how we see if the Scout Law is taking effect, and there's no
way we can write this in "regulation" to insure that every Scout and Explorer
is doing/saying/behaving in this way. We just have to trust the faith of those
reviewing the Scout and the Scout himself.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City